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Buttermilk Skillet Cake with Walnut Praline Topping

From Joy the Baker Cookbook


For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 large yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C. buttermilk

For the topping:

  • 3/4 C. packed brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 C. heavy cream
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 C. roughly chopped walnuts


Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of an 8-inch cast iron skillet and set aside. (Alternatively, you can use a 9" can pan.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or manually, though this will require lots of elbow grease), beat butter and sugar together until well incorporated and lighter in color, about 3 minutes. Add egg and yolk, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low, add half the flour mixture. Then, add the buttermilk and, when the flour is just combined, add the remaining flour. Keep on low until almost all the flour has disappeared, then finish incorporating the ingredients manually with a spatula. Spoon batter into prepared skillet (or cake pan) and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cake is cooling, combine brown sugar, butter, cream and salt in a medium pan over medium heat. Bring to a soft boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and nuts. Let sit for 20 minutes to firm up a little.

When ready to serve, pour praline topping over cake. 

Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days.

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